Chapter 8: Marketing ethics and consumerism
Whether in a traditional or modern society, the marketing function plays a pivotal role in advancing societal welfare and enhancing individuals’ well-being. It is marketing that makes it possible for members of society to obtain what they want and that offers the necessary commodities and/or services at the desired time and place. Marketing not only presents options, but also creates various possibilities for market actors to select from or to pursue. Indeed, among business functions, marketing is intertwined with social desires and preferences. While marketing offerings and promotional methods influence these desires, they in turn are shaped by social priorities and preferences. This is because, as Wilkie and Moore (2007) have argued, the marketing function is a “social institution that is highly adaptive to its cultural and political context.” This underscores not only the nature of marketing, but also its strategic link to cultural ethics and public policy concerns. However, cultural ethics are shaped to a large degree by religion. That is, religion remains a determining force in ethics formation and application. Indeed, each religion has its own set of values and beliefs, which in turn determine what is considered right and wrong and the standards upon which behavior/conduct is judged; in short, the application of values and beliefs to reality is ethics.
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